Urban forestry and society

Peabody Hill Wood at the end of the Rosendale Estate, LondonWhat is urban forestry?

Urban forestry is now firmly established as a key focus of forestry policy and management in Britain. Rising levels of inequality, persistent under-development within deprived urban communities, and the need for viable responses to the pressures of climate change are all seen as problems where urban forestry can make an important and positive contribution.

Urban forestry looks at urban green space from an integrative perspective, considering individual green space elements as part of an integral whole. It includes a focus on urban green space comprised of tree stands as well as individual trees and it is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in approach.

Community Forests and regeneration projects such as Newlands in England, a focus on ‘priority’ deprived communities in England and Wales,  and the ‘repositioning’ of Scotland’s public forest estate closer to cities and towns are all good examples of urban forestry. A recent national survey of the public's opinion of forestry reflects a corresponding shift in public demand with an increase in visits to urban woodlands and forests.

Completed Research

About our research

Research being undertaken by Forest Research's social and economic research group is helping to shape urban forestry responses to important challenges such as planning green networks for urban communities, exploring urban health inequalities, identifying the social and economic value of street trees and evaluating the ‘Woodlands in and around Towns’ programme in Scotland.

Other scientists at Forest Research are also working on related urban issues, conducting research on establishing greenspace on brownfield, degraded and contaminated land.

Urban forestry is a topic that cuts across a lot of our group’s research.  Below are links to all of our work that is focused on urban forestry or has an urban forestry component or case study in an urban area.


For further information please contact:

Bianca Ambrose-Oji

What's of interest

Front cover
Public Engagement and Forestry: Key Lessons for Working in Urban Areas


Cover of report
Benefits of green infrastructure

Summary and technical reports for Defra giving a critical review of the evidence.

Cover of Growing Places Issue 5 Spring 2010
Social and Economic Research Group urban forestry focused newsletter

Includes various articles about urban forestry and society.

Related pages

Useful sites